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European Paintings - French

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Charity

circa 1634-1635
17th century
110.5 cm x 142.8 cm (43 1/2 in. x 56 1/4 in.)

Jacques Blanchard (Paris, France, 1600 - 1638, Paris, France) Primary

Object Type: painting
Artist Nationality: Europe, French
Medium and Support: Oil on canvas
Credit Line: The Suida-Manning Collection
            
               Accession Number:                2017.918             
            
Object Description: Jacques Blanchard represents the personification of Charity as a woman breastfeeding a child and tending to two others around her. According to Cesare Ripa, the three children signify the tripling of Charity’s power when accompanied by Faith and Hope, the other theological virtues. Blanchard makes a creative departure from Ripa’s original text, however, by adding more children to illustrate charity in action: a boy assists a crying girl, and the infant on Charity’s lap reaches compassionately out to her. This scene reinforces a passage in the French edition of "Iconologia" that Charity “usually dwells among innocent and pure souls.” Regarded as a gifted colorist, he worked for King Louis XIV in Paris. The Blanton's painting is one of the few paintings by the artist in the United States.

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